Asia-Pacific

Hopes of deal after US-China trade talks

A US official says a trade delegation has had a "good few days" talking trade with Chinese officials in Beijing.

The US trade delegation in Beijing is "wrapping up" meetings with Chinese officials and will return to the United States after a "good few days", a US official says.

Asian stock markets jumped after the talks were extended for an unscheduled third day, fuelling optimism the world's largest economies can strike a trade deal to avoid an all-out confrontation that would severely disrupt the global economy.

Ted McKinney, US Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, made the comments to reporters at the delegation's hotel on Wednesday.

"I think they went just fine," McKinney said of the talks. "It's been a good one for us," he said without elaborating.

This week's meetings are the first face-to-face talks since US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.

Originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, the negotiations were extended by a day amid signs of progress on issues including purchases of US farm and energy commodities and increased access to China's markets.

However, people familiar with the talks told Reuters on Tuesday that the two sides were further apart on Chinese structural reforms that the Trump administration is demanding in order to stop alleged theft and forced transfer of US technology, and on how Beijing will be held to its promises.

If no deal is reached by March 2, Trump has said he will proceed with raising tariffs to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on $US200 billion worth of Chinese imports, at a time when China's economy is slowing significantly. Beijing has retaliated in turn to US tariffs.

But as meetings wound down in Beijing on Tuesday evening, Trump tweeted: "Talks with China are going very well!"

China is keen to put an end to its trade dispute with the US but will not make any "unreasonable concessions" and any agreement must involve compromise on both sides, state newspaper the China Daily said on Wednesday.

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